NORTH PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

The small post office in the unincorporated area of North Palm Springs will keep its doors open until at least May 15th. The location at 64-117 Dillon Road was scheduled to close its doors on March 2nd because the landlord and postal service were unable to reach terms on a new lease in December. The decision to stay open comes as the result of a moratorium on post office closures across the nation.

The location in North Palm Springs sits on land which is unincorporated, and for many people in the community is the only way for them to send and receive mail. The small post office has become a meeting place and an integral part of the community. "They all come here to find out what's going with anybody around," said Misty Mullins. "I have a lot of customers that walk down to the post office everyday, it's just basically the heart of the community."

Pete and Nancy Wright drive from Painted Hills every day to collect mail for personal and business use. The location provides convenience and safety. "The mailing address is out in Cabazon, which is very far away," said Nancy. "We have mailboxes on 62, and they keep getting robbed, people are opening them up and taking out the mail. Ten years ago we opened up a P.O. box here."

When the post office posted notices about the closure, the Wrights joined many of the over 400 customers who were frustrated with the prospect of losing their preferred location. "We'd have to go a lot further, but also we'd have to redo all of our checks, all of our business cards, our everything," said Pete. "It's quite a hardship when you talk about closing a post office."

With the new two-month extension, the loyal customers are doing anything they can to keep the post office open. They have started a petition as well as contacting local officials. "I want anybody that can or will to write their congressman, write Mary Bono Mack, write Barbara Boxer, write Diane Feinstein," said Mullins. "Try and enlist them to put some pressure on the post office to come to terms with the landlord."